My Lasting Love for Historical Romance
by: Ally Broadfield
I was introduced to the magnificent world of historical romance at the age of twelve. I had already read all of the children’s books in our local library, but luckily a friend who babysat frequently had stumbled upon a stash of historical romances and shared them with me. I had always loved history, but it wasn’t until I read my first historical romance that I truly experienced it.
The book was The Storm and the Splendor by Jennifer Blake, and what made me stay up all night to finish it was the way the story transported me to another time and place. I was in the seventh grade, so of course I had already studied history, but I had never been able to envision what it was like to be in a particular place at a particular time. That’s what I love most about historical romance—I become the heroine, share her hopes, her feelings, her experiences. I struggled for air while her stays were tightened; I choked down nausea as she hid in her cabin on the ship; and most of all, I fell desperately in love with her hero.
Of course the sex scenes in the stories I read were quite scandalous for a twelve-year-old, but it was the escape to another time and place that I cherished. Though the stories transported me to different worlds, they weren’t completely alien. The characters’ thoughts, hopes, insecurities, struggles, and triumphs were just like mine.
Though I enjoy reading all genres of historical romance, as an author, I love to write Regencies. The genre is characterized by witty dialogue, wealthy noblemen, and strict social guidelines, all of which coalesce to create a framework that challenges an author to find a way to get the hero and heroine together. Of course, that’s not entirely a bad thing since it leads to lots of sexual tension. Stolen glances across the ballroom, accidental touches, a moment alone in the corridor, and the knowledge that being caught alone together could lead to a forced marriage or ruination for the heroine certainly keeps things interesting.
The other thing I love about writing Regencies are the heroes. They are the original alpha males that we find in contemporary romance today, but instead of athletes, actors, or billionaire businessmen, we have dukes, earls, and soldiers. They are dashing and powerful, and will not yield to anyone – except the heroine, of course. And since we’re talking about heroes, I’ll just come out and say it. Mr. Darcy and Captain Wentworth are, hands down, the best romance heroes ever written.
Do you agree? If not, who are your favorite romance heroes?
About Ally Broadfield
Ally has worked as a horse trainer, director of marketing and development, freelance proofreader, and a children’s librarian, among other things. None of them were as awesome as writing romance novels (though the librarian gig came closest). She lives in Dallas, Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and assorted reptiles. Oh, and her husband.
Ally likes to curse in Russian because very few people know what she’s saying, and spends most of what would be her spare time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She has many stories in her head looking for an opportunity to escape onto paper. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia.
You can find Ally on her website, Facebook, and Twitter, though she makes no claims of using any of them properly.
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